Is the Disconnect between Biology and Culture making you Ill? Part Three: Homeostasis and Couch Potatoes who were Born to Run.

Homeostasis is really about balance, and in this case, energy balance. We are predisposed to maintain this homeostasis by taking advantage of surplus energy and storing it as fat. And while this trait has served our species for 2 million years, we no longer live in a feast or famine environment, and those conditions of …

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Is the Disconnect between Biology and Culture making you Ill? Part Two: Stressing the system

The human immune response system, much like that of other mammals, evolved over hundreds of thousands of years to be a barrier against the nasty bugs and pathogens we live with day-to-day. Since the discovery of antibiotics (and their overuse in both human medicine and industrial farming), we have created a very clean and sterile …

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Is the Disconnect between Biology and Culture making you Ill? Part One: Evolutionary Medicine.

Part One: Background Over the winter, rather disgusted at the weight that I put on over the past 20 years, I decided to do something about it. Complaining was easy, but taking steps to improve my health also proved to be quite easy as well. About 25 years ago, I was diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, …

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Do you Need an Antibiotic? What are they, What do they do, and How do they do it?

I love getting messages from readers, and G.L asks some very good questions about how modern medicine works. So good in fact, that I have decided to share them with you and to devote this month's post to antibiotics.  “Dear Dr. Davis, I read your blog and I have a question you might be able …

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Inoculations or Masks. One Epidemiologists View.

Recently, I was asked by a Healthcare Provider in my State my opinion concerning a company policy. There has been some issues around the influenza policy of this healthcare organization, where healthcare workers can either get the seasonal vaccination or wear a mask for the season. As an  epidemiologist, what were my thoughts on such …

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Listening to all the Chatter

Ever been to a particularly noisy place like a bar, or tried to listen to a conversation on a train or bus? Or tried to carry on a conversation in a busy restaurant? Unless the background noise is deafening, we can usually filter out virtually all other noise and hear the other person although often …

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The Best of Times, the Worst of Times

During the late teens and early 20’s of the last century, the War to end all wars (a misnomer if there ever was one) had ended, and the Spanish Flu (that originated in Kansas) had run its devastating course. Perhaps no period in American history saw such abrupt changes to society as the period of the …

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The (Not so) Spanish Flu, and How it Became the Deadliest Epidemic in Modern Time.

I had a little bird, its name was Enza. I opened the window, and in flew Enza.      ~Children’s rhyme of 1917 In early March 2018 a mess cook at an Army base in Kansas reported to the infirmary complaining of sore throat, headache, and fever. After being checked over, the doctor could find no …

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The Eradication of Smallpox and the Helper T-Cells

In May of 1980, the World Health Organization (WHO) pronounced, after two centuries, that the fight against smallpox had ended. This meant that there were no known cases of the disease anywhere on the planet. Many other infectious diseases have returned from the brink of extinction, but few have been so deadly as the only …

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